Prince William’s ‘The Earthshot Prize’ gets President Danny Faure’s backing | 07 January 2020
Prince William has launched an eco-prize to save the world which is ‘now at a tipping point’ and among those backing him are Seychelles President Danny Faure, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and environmental organisations including WWF and Conservation International.
It was on New Year’s Day that the Duke of Cambridge launched ‘The Earthshot Prize’: a multi-million pound initiative challenging the 'world's greatest problem-solvers' to find 50 answers to Earth's biggest environmental problems.
Announcing the news on Instagram, William, 37 – a wildlife campaigner and father-of-three – says he is now on an ambitious decade-long project which will see a total of 50 environmental pioneers awarded a cash prize for their work tackling major problems across climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, oceans, air pollution and fresh water.
The Duke set up ‘The Earthshot Prize’ after consulting members of his family as well as veteran broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough in an attempt to save a world which is 'now at a tipping point'.
According to Kensington Palace, multimillion-pound prizes will be awarded annually to five winners around the world, in each year of the 2020s (10 years), in an initiative that draws inspiration from US President John F. Kennedy's ambitious Moonshot lunar space programme of the 1960s.
William said: "The Earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet, or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve.
“Remember the awe-inspiring civilisations that we have built, the life-saving technology we have created, the fact that we have put a man on the Moon. People can achieve great things.
“The next 10 years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth.”
The prize was designed by and will initially be handled by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – headed by Prince William and Kate Middleton. More than 60 organisations and experts were consulted in the process; in time, ‘The Earthshot Prize’ will likely become an independent organisation that continues to involve environmental NGOs.
The prize could be awarded to a wide range of individuals, teams or collaborations – including scientists, activists, economists, leaders, governments, banks, businesses, cities, and countries.
A global coalition of philanthropists and organisations will support the programme, with details about the challenges to be announced in special events around the globe at a later date.
In a special film launching ‘The Earthshot Prize’, Sir David said: “The spirit of the Moonshot can guide us today as we confront the serious challenges we face on Earth.
“This year Prince William and a global alliance launch the most prestigious environment prize in history – ‘The Earthshot Prize’, a global prize designed to motivate and inspire a new generation of thinkers, leaders and dreamers to think differently.
“Visionaries rewarded over the next decade for responding to the great challenges of our time.”
Compiled by Gerard Govinden